Title: This Is the Story of You
Author: Beth Kephart
Synopsis: On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But when a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, when it strands Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland and upends all logic, nothing will ever be as it was. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing is gone. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future.
Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!
The Story of You is one of those very quiet books. Everything is slow, methodically put together, wrapped in poetic writing. It’s a very simple story that looks at survival, devastation, self-reflection and family, and it does all this in a very small package.
I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this novel as I read it, but it’s one of those books where it asks the reader to be patient, and it’s subtle in a lot of ways. Our heroine, Mira, is someone who spends a lot of the novel reflecting on her life, friendships, and the people she has met in her small town on Haven. Interesting, this book doesn’t have a lot of a dialogue, which I thought was great given how the novel was written. It was as if when all the devastation hits that there were no conversations to be had or words needed to be said.
The other thing about The Story of You is that its builds in a very specific way. All the emotion that the read is made to feel is built up, up, up, and then much live the waves of the sea, come crashing down hard and furious. I felt very frightened, uncomfortable, and even nervous at times as I was reading this book, and it just comes from how beautiful and intense a lot of the writing and imagery is in the novel.
If you want a book that will provide an emotionally engaging experience right from the get go, then The Story of You is definitely worth checking out. It’s so beautiful and raw, and while the pacing is something that I think some readers might not enjoy, I think it’s worth sticking through to the end, just to see how Kephart sticks the landing. Emotional and beautiful, The Story of You is a novel made for readers who want gripping, yet quiet experience.